via press release:
ABC Wins Thursday in Young Adults with its Top Non-Sports Numbers in 2 Months
"ABC News Special" on the Earthquake in Haiti Attracts the Net's 2nd-Largest Non-Sports Audience in the Hour Since Early December
Overshadowing its 9pm Competitors in Adults 18-49, "Grey's Anatomy" Is Thursday's No. 1 TV Series for the 10th Original Telecast in a Row
Marking Best-Since-Season-Premiere Results, "Private Practice" Leads its Slot in Young Adults and Jumps Year to Year by 2.5 Million Viewers and 27% in Adults 18-49
Thursday Night (8:00-11:00 p.m.)
With an ABC News Special covering the Haitian earthquake and the return of "Grey's" and "Private Practice" to originals for the first time since Fall, ABC won Thursday night in Adults 18-49 (3.4/10), leading its closest competitors by 17% (2.9/8 - CBS and Fox tied). The Network won the night by an even wide margin in Adults 18-34, beating second-place Fox by 38% (3.3/10 vs. 2.4/7). ABC's "Grey's" and "Private Practice" stood as the Top 2 TV shows on Thursday in both key young adult demographics.
* In viewers (9.7 million) and young adults (3.4/10), ABC posted its strongest non-sports Thursday since mid-November - since 11/19/09.
"ABC News Special - Earthquake Haiti: The Race to Save a Country" (8:00-9:00 p.m.)
During the 8:00 p.m. hour in a last-minute schedule change, an "ABC News Special" on the earthquake in Haiti drew the Net's 2nd-largest non-sports numbers (5.4 million and 1.4/4) in the time period since the beginning of December - since 12/3/09.
"Grey's Anatomy" (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
On its first original telecast in 2 months (since 11/19/09), ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" returned as Thursday's dominant No. 1 TV show in Adults 18-49 (4.7/12), registering as the highest-rated series on the night for its 10th original telecast in a row. Dominating the 9 o'clock hour over all original competition, "Grey's" defeated CBS' "CSI" by 42% (3.3/9), Fox's "Fringe" by 81% (2.6/7) and NBC's back-to-back episodes of "30 Rock" by 104% (2.3/6). "Grey's" was also once again Thursday's highest-rated show in Adults 18-34 (4.8/14), growing over its most-recent original telecast.
"Private Practice" (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
The No. 2 TV show of the night with its strongest "Grey's" retention this season, ABC's cross-over "Private Practice" won the 10 o'clock hour among Adults 18-49, beating CBS' original "The Mentalist" by a best-ever 24% in Adults 18-49 (4.2/12 vs. 3.4/9). Topping the combined delivery of CBS and NBC in the hour by 50% with a season-high among Adults 18-34 (4.2/13 vs. 2.8/9 - CBS and NBC combined), "Private Practice" registered as TV's No. 1 series telecast in its time slot for its 10th consecutive original airing this season.
* "Private Practice" surged from its most-recent original telecast (on 12/3/09) by 1.8 million viewers (11.0 million vs. 9.2 million) and by 31% in Adults 18-49 (4.2/12 vs. 3.2/8), marking a best-since-season premiere performance on both Nielsen measures - since 10/1/09.
* The ABC drama was also up substantially from its performance on the same night last year in the hour, jumping year to year by 2.5 million viewers and by 27% in Adults 18-49 (8.5 million and 3.3/8 on 1/15/09).
A note about increasing DVR penetration and year-to-year rating comparisons: Year-to-year rating comparisons based on the Live + Same Day data stream are distorted by the level of DVR penetration in the Nielsen sample, which has jumped up to 34% currently, from 29% at the same point in 2009. More viewers are watching shows on their own timetables, which may not be reflected in the overnight next day numbers. The only truly valid year-to-year comparison would be one based on the Live + 7 Day metric, once those stats are released by Nielsen.
Source: The Nielsen Company (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), 1/14/10.